Statement of Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory, Archbishop of Atlanta, and Most Reverend Gregory J. Hartmayer, Bishop of Savannah, in Response to the Announcement of Executive Action Regarding Immigration
As Catholic bishops in Georgia, we have long expressed our concern for the families divided by the constraints of an immigration system that all recognize as broken. Strong and united families are fundamental to our society but we see so many families torn apart in the enforcement of the current immigration system. We, thus, welcome President Barack Obama’s executive action intended to assist some immigrants to remain in the United States, participate in family life and contribute openly to our society.
Catholic teaching has long supported the principle that every person has the right to live in his or her homeland in security and dignity with opportunities for work. Yet, when the loss of these rights compels individuals to migrate to other lands, we must welcome them, protect them and generously share our bounty with them.
As have their immigrant predecessors, many immigrants among us today have already been contributing to our society through work and service. Simple justice compels our country to afford them the benefits of their labor and the protection of law.
We call on the people of Georgia to look on all immigrants with the love to which we are called by the Gospel and to give them the benefits of the Administration’s executive action. Whatever political opinions may divide us, we look to faithful Georgians to support the implementation of regulations that will keep families together and protect children.
We call on our congressional representatives to enact statutes that comprehensively reform the system and treat our sisters and brothers with justice and charity. As the Georgia General Assembly prepares for its 2015 session, we ask legislators and officials to support policies that enhance human dignity and provide opportunities for full human development of all who live and work in our state.
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